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Promised Land

Thirteen Books That Changed America

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In this lively exploration of America’s intellectual heritage, acclaimed poet, novelist, and critic Jay Parini celebrates the life and times of thirteen books that helped shape the American psyche.
Moving nimbly between the great watersheds in American letters—including Walden, Huckleberry Finn, The Souls of Black Folk, and On the Road—Parini demonstrates how these books entered American life and altered how we think and act in the world. An immensely readable and vibrant work of cultural history, Promised Land exposes the rich literary foundation of our culture, and is sure to appeal to all book lovers and students of the American character alike.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 01, 2008 – Poet, novelist and literary critic Parini (The Last Station) examines the books he believes represent the soul of the American republic. Some of these books are masterpieces, others icons of a moment in American history. Throughout, Parini makes his case while wearing his learning lightly. All of these works, from William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation to Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, had a profound impact on America's complex identity. The evolving American dynamic is noted in the way the subjects cluster: the American experiment (The Federalist Papers); exploration of a continent (The Journals of Lewis and Clark); a new connection with nature and self (Walden); issues of race and urban ethnicity (Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Souls of Black Folk, among others); business and its opposite, the counterculture (How to Win Friends and Influence People and On the Road). A terrific chapter explores Dr. Spock's The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care (“Spock said no to no”). A listing of 100 additional books with seismic impact rounds out this engaging discussion, which ought to be on the syllabus of American studies courses.
Promised Land
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary Criticism
  • Published: Nov 11, 2008
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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